Dhaka stocks opened the week with two fears – coronavirus and the floor price, which is an imposed price limit on how low a share price can be.
The Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) imposed a floor price – no share price can be lower than the stock's average closing price for five days till March 19 – on Thursday last to halt the freefall of stocks. This mechanism saved the market from a big slide, but market participation and transactions fell significantly.
Only Tk145 crore worth of shares were traded in the DSE yesterday, less than half of the amount investors had seen even in the bearish market.
"We are not in a sound-enough state of mind to analyse the market right now. Instead we are busy with safety measures against the coronavirus outbreak," said a senior equity analyst at another brokerage firm on Sunday afternoon.
"However, if the economy proves its minimum resilience amid the coronavirus fear, the floor price may be a good price for many stocks listed in the DSE and the CSE. But, if the global and local economy suffers too much, the floor may collapse as soon as it is withdrawn in coming days," he said.
Most of the scrips barely saw bidders in the market on Sunday. The trades took place at the lowest possible price the electronic platform allowed.
Stock brokers said that some sellers put their sale orders at the respective floor prices, and a few interested buyers opted in.
Both the stock exchanges struggled to implement the new floor price in their own electronic trading platform.
The Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) failed to implement the instantly prescribed floor on Thursday, while the DSE managed a delayed and shortened trading session of half an hour.
However, the capital city bourse came up with some modification of floor prices of many shares on Sunday as the previous calculation had some flaw, though the two figures did not have much difference for most of the scrips.
The change lowered the floor price for most scrips, and that was why most of the scrips ended in the red today, said a floor trader at a top brokerage firm.
After the three-hour trading session, only 25 scrips gained, 209 lost and the price of 113 securities were unchanged at the DSE.
DSEX, the key benchmark there, was 0.37 percent down to close at 3,960. The index was 10 percent up on Thursday due to the newly imposed floor that followed around 20 percent loss since March 1, 2019.
Investors yesterday preferred trading pharmaceuticals, banking, ceramic, engineering, fuel and power stocks the most, while telecom, food, banking, non-banking financial institutions and pharmaceutical stocks gained market capitalisation.
Average price to earnings (PE) ratio at the DSE is at 10.5 now. The ratio is 13.6 for the top ten companies in terms of market capitalisation.